He wakes from a restless sleep while it’s still dark outside, his eyes red and puffy from the events of the past 24 hours.
He barely catches his breath before the weight falls on him and the tears begin again. The guilt is rampant inside his heart, the truth waging war with his betrayal.
“You are the Messiah, the Son of God.”
“I do not know him.”
His mind is tortured as his answer to the question replays 1,000 different ways. The panic at his betrayal paralyzes him, and his self-hatred only grows. Why did he say that? Why did he have to do that? Coward, the enemy laughs.
The moment Jesus caught his eye haunts him. His eyes deep with heartbreak and love. The paradox drives him further into despair, and the emotions of that moment come flooding back: hurt, failure, guilt, hopeless.
Maybe I could’ve saved him, he thinks. Or maybe, I would’ve just been one of the two hung next to him.
How he wishes he could take it back. What he would give to have a second chance.
A twinge of hope creeps in as he remembers Jesus’ words. Maybe… maybe what Jesus said was all true. Maybe, he will rise on the third day. Maybe he really is the Messiah. But even if he is, would he take me back? Will things ever be the same as they once were?
It’s cloudy outside. A cool breeze shifting the fresh spring leaves on the trees. John peeks through a window from the place they have all gathered, and marvels at how everything appears so normal.
Nothing is normal.
As he watches the branches sway in the wind, he can’t ignore the feeling that something is shifting. It’s more than a feeling, really. It’s a slow, rolling thunder in the depths of his soul.
He hesitates to speak of it, for fear that saying it out loud might be the most foolish thing in the world after what he witnessed yesterday. His best friend, his Lord, the one who loved him, killed in the most brutal way. The sight of his dripping blood, the sound of his agony haunts his memory. Jesus’ last words, “Tetelestai,” replay in his mind, as he tries to discern whether this soul thunder is leading to life or death.
The questions are many. What does this all mean? Were the last three years a waste? Why did this happen? Is this what being the Messiah, our Savior, really looks like? Death?
Where is my God?
She tries to ignore the emptiness in her heart as she carefully gathers the burial spices. She’ll be up before the sun with the women, as they walk in the darkness to honor their Lord.
Her stomach churns at the thought of seeing his lifeless body. She clenches her eyes shut and violently shakes her head, trying to make the stabbing pain in her heart subside.
It doesn’t feel real. How could this man, her Savior, who rescued her from seven demons, be murdered for crimes he didn’t commit? This man who had defended and protected her from death, where was his defense?
In the stillness of night, the questions ring loud. She stares up at the sky, searching for answers, wishing to sit in his presence again. The wind has blown the clouds away, and the stars are twinkling now.
In a few hours, the sun will rise and tomorrow will be a new day all it’s own.
The tiniest twinge of hope rises up within her, like a sprout poking up through the soil of pain and despair.
She counts the days, fights the lies telling her she’s being foolish, and clings to her last bit of hope.
On the third day, I will rise again.
Sunday is coming.